Tables for
Volume F
Crystallography of biological macromolecules
Edited by E. Arnold, D. M. Himmel and M. G. Rossmann

International Tables for Crystallography (2012). Vol. F, ch. 6.1, p. 159   | 1 | 2 |

Section Stationary-target X-ray tubes

U. W. Arndta

aLaboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, England Stationary-target X-ray tubes

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A section through a permanently evacuated, sealed X-ray tube is shown in Fig.[link] The tube has a spirally wound tungsten filament, F, placed immediately behind a slot in the focusing cup, C, and a water-cooled target or anode, T, approximately 10 mm from the surface of C. The filament–focusing-cup assembly is at a negative voltage of between 30 and 50 kV, and the target is at ground potential. The electron beam strikes the target in a focal line, which acts as a line source of X-rays. There are usually two pairs of X-ray windows, W, through which the source is viewed at a small angle to the target surface, thus producing a foreshortened effective source, X, which is approximately square in one plane and a narrow line in the other. Focus dimensions on the target and maximum recommended power loading are shown for a number of standard inserts in Table[link]. None of these are ideal for macromolecular crystallography. The assembly of a cathode, anode and windows – the tube insert – is inserted in a shock- and radiation-proof shield which is fixed to the table. Attached to the shield are X-ray shutters and filters, and sometimes brackets for bolting on X-ray cameras. A high-voltage connection is made to the tube by means of a flexible, shielded, shock-proof cable; nowadays, this high voltage is almost invariably full-wave rectified and smoothed DC.

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Standard X-ray tube inserts

Focus size on target (mm × mm)Recommended power loading (kW)
8 × 0.15 0.8
8 × 0.4 1.5
10 × 1.0 2.0
12 × 2.0 2.7

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Section through a sealed X-ray tube. G, glass envelope; F, filament leads (at negative high voltage); C, focusing cup; T, target (at ground potential); W, one of four beryllium windows. The electron beam forms a line on the target, which is viewed at a small take-off angle to form a foreshortened effective source X.

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